A ‘Pop-up’ Geography: Uncovering place uniqueness through narratives of home

Authors: Thomas Lambourne*, University of South Wales
Topics: Cultural Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: Space, Participation, Home, Cultural Geography, Pop-up
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Directors Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Spatial injustices have long been linked to post-industrial places and landscapes across the UK. These places share a correlation to key welfare support indicators, including education, health, social services and housing. These indicators are often the basis for political, economic and social recognition, marginalisation, stigmatisation and decision-making. This research takes as its focus the town of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, a post-industrial place commonly recognised for its challenged socio-economic outlook and spatial injustices to elsewhere in Wales and the UK. It explores the importance of space in capturing place-based cultural identity, by utilising a ‘pop-up’ participatory research methodology. This is centered on explorations and associations to feelings of home, and is undertaken in streetscapes across the town. This ad hoc method captures place-based citizen stories and perceptions of everyday lives in Merthyr Tydfil. The research finds that often political and social territorialisation masks place narratives through a ‘façade of deprivation’, reinforced through hard social indicators. It concludes by supporting a growth in cultural indicators reflective of place to counteract processes of spatial injustices.

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